By Peta Thornycroft
15 July 2009
Zimbabwe's human rights lawyers are considering pulling out of participation
in drafting a new constitution because they say more than 40 percent of the
delegates are politicians while civil right activists and other non
governmental organizations make up a small minority of the 4,000 delegates.
Most of those who have fought a long and hard struggle for democracy in
Zimbabwe say they now believe the process of drafting a new charter is a
Irene Petras, director of Zimbabwe Lawyers' for Human Rights says her
organization has found that more than 40 percent of the delegates are
politicians or belong to strongly politically aligned organizations. In
addition, she says this figure does not include delegates who are also civil
Zimbabwe's constitution talks on Monday were violently disrupted by militant
backers of President Robert Mugabe. They resumed Tuesday with calls for
tolerance in work on a charter meant to pave the way to fresh polls.
The state media, including the only daily newspaper and only radio and
television stations, all loyal to ZANU-PF, blamed civil rights activists for
Petras said neither rights lawyers, nor any of the many non governmental
organizations were consulted about the appointment of the two people
chairing the conference, both leaders at government universities.
The conference was meant to form committees and infrastructure for
countrywide consultations with Zimbabweans to draw up a new constitution.
A leading member of a civic rights group who declined to be named and who
sat through proceedings Tuesday, said the environment was hostile. He said
any discussion critical of President Robert Mugabe's nearly 30-year rule,
during general discussion about constitutional principles, was not allowed.
Another delegate who asked not to be named, said funds provided by the
finance ministry and other donors were likely to be cut off as a result of
no progress made in drafting a new charter.
Constitutional affairs minister Eric Matinenga said Wednesday he "could not
pretend" there were no "difficulties and problems," but he said it was not
time yet to walk away and said he believed something useful could yet be
ZANU-PF justice minister, Patrick Chinamasa, also closely involved in the
constitutional writing process, was not available for comment.
Mr. Mugabe's ZANU-PF party wants the new constitution to be based on a draft
drawn up in 2007, but critics say it gives the president too much power.
by Tendai Maronga Wednesday 15 July 2009
HARARE - Zimbabwe's political leaders appealed to supporters on Tuesday to
bury their differences in order to make an exercise to write a new and
democratic constitution for the country successful.
The appeal follows an aborted conference on Monday which had been called to
chart the course of constitutional reforms but had to be called off after
delegates from political parties making up the country's unity government
became rowdy, mocked one another and threw objects at each other.
Riot police had to intervene to stop the situation from degenerating into
The were tighter security measures when the conference, that ends today,
resumed on Tuesday, with police officers stationed inside the conference
hall to ensure no disturbances occurred.
Paul Mangwana, one of the three chairmen leading the reform process and a
member of President Robert Mugabe's ZANU PF party, told delegates the
constitutional conference was a platform to advance the interests of
Zimbabwe and not the myopic political interests of individuals or political
He urged delegates not to allow the disturbances witnessed on Monday to hold
back the reform process.
"This is no time for politicking. This conference is not about content.
Rather it is about creating a structure where people can air their views.
The 4 000 delegates gathered here do not and are not going to write the
constitution of Zimbabwe," said Mangwana to thunderous applause from the
Mangwana acknowledged the sharp differences still dividing Zimbabweans
despite formation of a power-sharing government last February. But he
expressed hope that delegates would put aside their disagreements to allow
the constitutional reform process to move forward.
"It is my strong belief and hope that we will put our differences aside for
the purposes of not only this conference, but also the whole process of
making a new constitution for Zimbabwe," he said.
Douglas Mwonzora, also a chairman of the constitutional committee and a
senior member of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's MDC party, called for
tolerance and urged delegates to set aside political affiliation in pursuit
of a truly democratic constitution for the country.
"We should emphasise the need for Zimbabweans to throw away their political
affiliations and prejudices in the whole process .. the process has to be as
apolitical as is possible," said Mwonzora.
The conference is expected to appoint teams to go around the country for the
next four months consulting Zimbabweans and soliciting their views and ideas
that will form the basis for the new constitution.
Once a new constitution is in place, the power-sharing government is
expected to call fresh parliamentary, presidential and local government
elections. The whole process from the drafting of the new constitution to
the holding of new elections is expected to be completed in about two years.
Zimbabwe is currently governed under the 1979 Constitution agreed at the
Lancaster House talks in London that paved way for the country's
independence from Britain in 1980.
The Constitution has been amended 19 times and critics say the changes have
only helped to entrench Mugabe and ZANU PF's stranglehold on power. -
NCA Press Statement
15 July 2009
Remaining on the path of a genuine people driven constitution
This statement wishes to re-affirm the position of the National
Constitutional Assembly (NCA) vis-à-vis the current attempts by the
government of Zimbabwe to impose a constitution on the people. The NCA
rejects the current Parliament-driven process.
The NCA has both individual and institutional members. Unlike individual
members, institutional members are not automatically bound by every decision
taken by the NCA. Some decisions require ratification by the institutional
members concerned. This brings us to the principled position taken by the
two biggest institutional members of the NCA: the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade
Unions (ZCTU) and the Zimbabwe National Students Union (ZINASU). The NCA
wishes to commend the ZCTU and ZINASU for this adherence to the founding
principles of the NCA, namely that a constitution is by, and for, the
people. A parliament-driven process offends this principle. Their outright
rejection of the current Parliament-driven process sets an appropriate
example to the broader NCA membership and the public.
While it is not our intention to dwell on the obvious defects of the current
process, events of the last few weeks, including the calamitous episodes at
the Rainbow Towers on 13 and 14 July 2009, demonstrates that the current
Parliament-led process is neither people-driven nor legitimate. It also
lacks seriousness. For example:
The Government Press has circulated the so-called Kariba Draft. No other
Draft has been circulated. President Mugabe has been unequivocal in
narrowing the current process to the Kariba Draft. Protestations to the
contrary by the other key players have been vague, inconsistent and
The Parliament Select Committee is a laughable outfit. It has told no single
truth and enjoys being a front for its principals while treating ordinary
people as irrelevant.
Every step in the Parliament-led process has been taken over by party
politics. Dates of meetings have fallen victim to political party
considerations. Participants for meetings are selected along political party
lines. Political parties dictate consultations at meetings.
The Rainbow Towers gathering of 13 and 14 July 2009 cannot, by any stretch
of imagination, be described as an "All Stakeholders Conference". It took
the organizers one and half days to open the meeting. When if finally opened
it lasted for less than four hours. It started in order to end. It had a
different agenda from that specified in the GPA. The meeting made no single
discussion. The allocation of sizes of delegations was arbitrary and
ridiculous. Non-existent organizations were allocated more participants than
These defects have solidified the NCA's conviction that this process is
designed to serve the interests of political parties involved and has no
chance of producing a democratic and people-driven constitution.
Given the NCA's mandate, it is inevitable that the public expects it to
continue to hold the light that leads to a new, democratic and people-driven
constitution. In 1999, when the government of the day instituted a defective
constitution-making process, the NCA convened the 1st Peoples'
Constitutional Convention in June of that year. That Convention provided a
platform for Zimbabweans who were genuinely committed to a people-driven
constitution, to map an appropriate response to a defective government
process. The strategies formulated at that Convention guided the NCA in
stopping the imposition of the 2000 Draft.
We hereby announce that the NCA, with the special support of the ZCTU and
ZINASU, will convene the 2nd Peoples' constitutional Convention on Monday 27
July 2009. It will be held as a follow-up to the 1st Peoples' Convention of
June 1999. The specific objective of this Convention is to adopt positions
and programmes of action in the light of current attempts by politicians to
undermine our struggle for a genuine people-driven constitution.
It will be a one-day Convention of 3500 delegates. This is a Convention of
like-minded Zimbabweans with the following deep convictions:
Ø That the constitution making process must not be led by politicians.
Ø That a democratic and sustainable constitution can only come from a
genuine people-driven process and not from a fraudulent Parliament-driven
Ø That Zimbabwe cannot afford a constitution designed solely to accommodate
the interests of current political leaders.
Ø That we have suffered enough by "worshipping" popular politicians of the
Ø That the current Parliament-driven process is unacceptable.
Our agenda is to get a genuine process that will give our country a
democratic constitution. At the Convention, we will launch our campaign
under the banner of TAKE CHARGE and thereafter take it to all people in the
By Alex Bell
15 July 2009
The government is set to convene yet another All Stakeholders meeting on
Friday, mere days after the chaotic Constitutional Conference ended in
Harare this week.
The two-day conference that ends on Saturday in the capital will centre on
the formulation of a 'national vision' that forms part of the unity
government's 'rebranding' programme. All political parties in the country
have been invited, as well as members of the business community. Speakers
include Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara, Mavambo/Kusile/Dawn leader
Simba Makoni, Dumiso Dabengwa, the interim leader of ZAPU and
representatives of other political parties.
Addressing a press conference in the city on Monday, the principal director
in Mutambara's office, Professor Paul Mavhima, said the meeting sought to
craft a national vision for Zimbabwe in pursuit of the country's rebranding
"We want to come up with a shared vision and map up where Zimbabwe is going
so that even if we have a new government in place, it would just take up
that vision," he said.
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai will give the keynote address at the
conference, although Vice President Joice Mujuru will officially open the
event. Mujuru has been implicated in an illegal gold deal with her daughter
Nyasha, who tried to sell gold from the DRC on the international market.
Nyasha, who lives in Spain, tried to sell the gold to a European company
that trades in raw materials, saying funding for the deal would be provided
by her mother. The deal was worth between US$20 - US$40 million a month to
the Mujuru's. When the company refused and placed Mujuru and her daughter on
a blacklist, Mujuru made threatening phone calls to the company.
It is therefore ironic that Mujuru will open a conference seeking to create
a vision for a better Zimbabwe, when she herself is at the centre of a
scandal involving the plunder of resources from a neighbouring country.
Political analyst Professor John Makumbe said the Mujuru's, or any other
ZANU PF stalwart's attempt to promote a 'national vision', was hypocritical,
given that the party has no intention of allowing any other vision, aside
from the ZANU PF one, to lead the way forward.
"ZANU PF people do not want a united vision for the country, and they
believe the vision should only come from them," Makumbe said.
Makumbe further explained that the rhetoric of a national vision for the
country has been created purely to inspire donors to invest, but he argued
"none of these efforts will translate into investment until the parties
genuinely start working together."
"The hypocritical speech of 'unity' and of a national vision will not fool
donors," Makumbe explained.
15 July 2009
Hundreds of villagers, allegedly bussed by ZANU PF to cause chaos at the
First National All- Stakeholders Constitutional Conference held at the
Rainbow Towers Hotel in Harare were left stranded after the party failed to
secure transport back to their homes.
On Wednesday, a day after the two day conference, hundreds could be seen
milling around the conference venue, after ZANU PF failed to facilitate for
their return. A supporter who was among the stranded and was trying to
secure transport funds from the organisers of the event, The Constitutional
Parliamentary Select Committee (COPAC), said they were duped to believe that
the conference was an attempt by the Non- Governmental Organisations (NGOs)
to remove President Robert Mugabe.
COPAC was supposed to re-imburse accommodation and transport allowances to
approved delegates and reports indicate that ZANU PF brought twice the
number of the allocated 600 delegates who did not get accredited and were
therefore not eligible to the allowances. Co- chairperson of COPAC, Douglas
Mwonzora could not be reached for a comment as his mobile was out of reach.
"When the ZANU leadership in my area came to us, they told us this whole
thing was an attempt to remove President so that is why we came here fully
armed to defend our president," said the supporter, a war veteran from
Mutare. "We are now stranded with no food and the organisers (COPAC) say
they can only pay us for the two days and yet we this is our third day here
and some of us may not be able to go back to our homes today because of the
time," said the war veteran.
On Monday ZANU PF supporters, mainly the youths and war veterans violently
disrupted the proceedings of the conference in a move that was seen as a
strategic attempt by ZANU PF and its allied organisations to frustrate the
NGOs out of the process. Hundreds of visibly drunk and rowdy ZANU PF
supporters stomped into the conference room and heckled the Speaker of
Parliament, Lovemore Moyo before bringing business to a halt.
The conference, however resumed after the disruptions received a string of
condemnations from the three principals of the Coalition Government, that is
President Mugabe, prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and his deputy Authur
Since the formation of the coalition government in February, ZANU PF has
always attempted to frustrate the progress of reforms and of late the party
has been campaigning for the imposition of a secretly made draft to be used
as the basis of making the new constitution.'
The draft, made at Kariba in 2007, has received wide criticism from many
sections which feel the draft will leave Mugabe's executive powers intact.
July 15, 2009
HARARE – Hundreds of delegates who attended the constitutional conference which ended in Harare Wednesday camped outside Parliament while demanding to be paid attendance allowances.
The delegates were from both the MDC and Zanu PF. They complained that they had not been paid allowances for the three days that they attended the conference.
The delegates said they want to be paid allowances for food, accommodation and transport for the three days. The delegates were supposed to be paid US$30 for food and US$ 50 for accommodation a day.
Throughout the conference there was commotion at the parliamentary constitutional committee desk as many of the delegates virtually spent the better part of the three days while making demands for money.
“We want our money, we used our money to travel to the conference. We were told that we were going to be paid when we get here but now we are stranded, there is nowhere we are going without this money,” said one of the delegates who travelled from Mashonaland East.
The conference was attended by delegates drawn from all the country’s provinces. About 4 000 attended the conference at the capital city’s HarareInternational Conference Centre (HICC).
The delegates also complained about being ill-treated.
“We have been sleeping outside in the cold for three days and some of us are now sick but these people are not doing anything to help us, yet we were participating in this process,” said another delegate who asked not to be named.
Some of the delegates accused the constitutional committee of disbursing money along political party lines.
The constitutional making process is being funded to the tune of US$19 million.
Zanu-PF legislators, Mike Bimha of Chikomba East and Beater Nyamupinga of Goromonzi addressed their supporters yesterday afternoon in Africa Unity Square, right in front of Parliament, and urged them not to leave until they receive their money.
“We are aware that you have not received your money but I can assure you that the money has been withdrawn from the bank and it is now available, it is just that they are still counting it and once that happens you will get your money,” said Bimha.
Nyamupinga told the supporters that they should not go home until they get their money.
“We are not going anywhere until we get our money, don’t even move away from here,” said Nyamupinga.
However an official working with the parliamentary select committee on constitution-making told The Zimbabwe Times that the people who were camped in Africa Unity Square were not formally registered as delegates.
“These people are not on our list, they are part of those groups of people who were bussed to the conference to create chaos so they will not be getting any money,” said the official who could not be named because he is not authorized to speak to the media.
The official added that there are some Members of Parliament who were coming with their own list of followers and trying to put pressure on the committee to pay them.
“A Zanu-PF legislator came to us and tried to force us to pay his people whom he bussed to the conference from his constituency,” said the official.
He said some of representatives of the delegates received money on behalf of their colleagues and disappeared.
Some of the delegates were camped at MDC’s Harvest House headquarters. A similar situation prevailed at the Zanu-PF headquarters.
July 15, 2009
By Raymond Maingire
HARARE - Zimbabwe's constitution-making process moves to the four month long
public consultation stage amid assurances by the country's political leaders
that it will not be derailed again by rowdy political activists.
The delicate process was nearly derailed on Monday after a group of Zanu-PF
followers stormed the Harare International Conference Centre, venue for the
All-Stakeholders Conference and demanded the removal of Western-imposed
sanctions before they could commit themselves and their party to the
President Robert Mugabe, leader of Zanu-PF and Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC) leaders, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and his deputy,
Arthur Mutambara unanimously deplored the disturbances and declared that the
process shall not be derailed.
The two-day All Stakeholders' meeting resumed Tuesday under a heavy police
deployment. It ended later in the day without further incident.
Meanwhile, 18 thematic committees have been established to guide the next
They include a fully-fledged media thematic committee, which was originally
not included on the list of committees.
The rest of the committees are: the Founding Principles of the Constitution
Committee, Arms of the State (Principles of the Separation of Powers),
Systems of Governance, Bill of Rights, Women and Gender Issues, Youths;
Land, Natural Resources and Empowerment; Labour; Elections, Transitional
Mechanisms and Independent Commissions; Executive Organs of the State;
Public Finance; Tradition, Traditional Institutions and Customs; and
Those which were added on the spur-of-the-moment include Languages;
Disabled, Media; and the Freedom Fighters thematic committees.
During Tuesday's session, representatives of the various thematic committees
were given the opportunity to address the delegates on the advantages of
having their clusters included among those that will drive the marathon
According to the Global Political Agreement, each committee will be chaired
by a Member of Parliament.
Parliamentary Select Committee co-chairperson, Paul Mangwana said Tuesday
there would be equal gender representation in all the committees.
Mangwana said the deputy chairpersons of each thematic committee will come
from stakeholders while 70 percent of the membership of each thematic
committee will come from stakeholders.
"Chairpersons of the thematic committees will be established within the next
fortnight," Mangwana said.
"We shall be calling upon stakeholders and meeting them until we get their
input after the conference into who they want to represent them in the
"We will be sending forms through provinces for stakeholders to choose which
thematic committees they will be interested in participating in.
"One of the means we will use to consult stakeholders will be that the
thematic groups will be holding mini conferences with those delegates who
have been here who may not participate in the groups themselves.
"This would be done so that they select the themes they want to be engaged
in and make further submissions and development as far as those themes are
The current process is expected to be complete by November 13, 2009.
Within three months of the date, the draft constitution will be tabled to a
second All-Stakeholders Conference. This should not be later than February
The draft Constitution and the accompanying report will be tabled in
Parliament within one month of the second All-Stakeholders Conference and
this should not be later than March 13, 2010.
The following four months will see the debating of the draft document and
the accompanying report concluded in Parliament and the holding of a
Should the draft Constitution be approved at the referendum, it will then be
gazetted and introduced in Parliament a month later.
Zimbabwe is expected to hold free and fair elections after the completion of
July 15, 2009
By Our Correspondent
HARARE - The Zimbabwean business community has added its voice to the
process of drafting the country's new constitution.
The sector urged for the protection of the economic rights of citizens in
the new constitution.
A representative of the Business Council of Zimbabwe, George Mutendadzamera,
told the All-Stakeholders Conference that the country's new constitution
should safeguard property rights.
"There should be the sanctity of property rights," said Mutendadzamera.
"These should fall under the category of immutable rights such as mineral
rights, land and other rights."
He urged the delegates to consider the protection of private sector
investments through the recognition of the sector as a vital component of
the country's economy.
"We must recognise the private sector as the engine of economic growth and
development in the nation and the creation of legislation that supports and
creates a strong viable and accountable private sector," said
Mutendadzamera, who is the corporate affairs manager of Delta Corporation.
His call comes a few days after the country hosted an international
investors' conference in Harare where potential investors demanded a return
to the rule of law before they can consider making any investments in
The disruption of the conference on Monday by rowdy Zanu-PF supporters could
have had a negative effect on the country's prospects of attracting
especially foreign investors.
Turning onto political issues, Mutendadzamera, called for the separation of
"There must be the separation of powers between the executive, legislature
and the judiciary," he said.
"There should be the independence of public institutions through the
existence of strong, independent and legally empowered institutions to drive
the affairs of the nation. Such institutions should include the central
bank, public service commission and justice system."
This, Mutendadzamera said, should incorporate the independence of the civil
service. He said the sector should be protected from interference by other
arms of government. He added that the rights of the judiciary should be
immutable. He said public appointments should be made in a professional and
He said that Parliament must play a more active role in the drafting of the
"The national budget should be approved and managed by parliament and the
executive held accountable for performance. Public accounts should be
presented to Parliament and made public to the nation including central and
local authorities and other public institutions," said Mutendadzamera.
15 July 2009
By JUSTICE ZHOU
In a new drive to clear the country's image and woe investment, Zimbabwean
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai will deliver a keynote address at a
business initiative forum gala dinner to be held on 31 July 2009 at the
Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg.
(Pictured: Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai)
The Prime Minister is expected to brief delegates on the conditions and
merits of investing in a new Zimbabwe at the the banquet organized by Mlilo
Projects Building and Civil Engineers. The indaba will focus primarily on
matters to do with the business climate, investment opportunities, and
property protection rights.
Zimbabwe's image as a safe investment destination had been dented by years
of dictatorial laws by Robert Mugabe's government. The country has been
facing incremental condemnation for harping on counterproductive laws,
including breaching business protocols, as well as policies that scare away
potential investors and has been urged to review laws about protection of
private sector investments if the country had any chance of getting its
economy back on track.
Policy experts and economists say that there is significant interest on
Zimbabwe by investors and the prospects of recovery can only be underpinned
by government's commitment in reforms that form the basis to attract foreign
direct investment and comprehensive international donor funding. They say
massive inflows of capital are crucial to sustainable economic growth,
leading to job creation and economic prosperity.
The prime minister appealed to Western nations for increased humanitarian
support to Zimbabwe and to consider direct aid to the inclusive Government
last month. The inclusive Government is struggling and needs about US$8.5
billion it says it wants to fund reconstruction of the economy and to
restore basic services such as health and education. But So far it has
raised only US$1 billion in credit lines from African countries and
institutions, while the US and its Western allies have insisted on reforms
The gala is will draw participants from leading companies, business experts,
policymakers, fund managers financiers and sectoral investors from all over
By Tichaona Sibanda
15 July 2009
The MDC MP for Chipinge East, Mathias Mlambo, has been suspended from
parliament after he was recently sentenced to 10 months in prison by a
Chipinge magistrate, on trumped up charges of public violence.
Mlambo, who appealed against his jail sentence and was granted bail,
described his suspension from parliament as 'null and void.'
The MP maintains he is innocent of any wrongdoing and claims the charges he
faced were concocted by ZANU PF, with the help of the police. The MP said he
was working with lawyers in the capital to lodge an appeal at the High
court, against the suspension from Parliament.
The legislator told us he was handed the letter of suspension by the Clerk
of Parliament, Austin Zvoma, whom he branded a 'ZANU PF functionary.'
Section 42 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe says upon the sentencing of a
legislator to death or a jail term of six months or more, 'such member shall
cease forthwith to exercise his functions . and his seat shall become vacant
at the expiration of 30 days from the date of such sentence.'
But because Mlambo won an appeal against his sentence it allows him to
continue his duties in parliament, until the matter is finalised. Only if
the High court upholds the conviction and sentence could Mlambo lose his
The magistrate sentenced Mlambo to jail after the state accused him of
defeating the course of justice by preventing the police from arresting a
yet to be identified person, who was at a funeral at the same time with the
'I know I'm innocent because I did nothing wrong. I'm waiting for my day in
court because all these charges are trumped up. There is politics at play
and we will prove this in court,' Mlambo.
The MDC has long accused Robert Mugabe of using the Attorney General,
Johannes Tomana, to get back their parliamentary majority, using trumped-up
criminal charges to drive out elected MDC MPs
Mugabe's ZANU PF lost its grip on the legislature for the first time in it's
history, when the MDC took control of the Lower House and drew level in the
Senate, after the 2008 March elections.
Tendai Biti, the MDC secretary-general, recently told a party meeting that
they were concerned by the continued persecution and harassment of their
members and MPs by the state, through Tomana's office.
At least seven MDC MPs have been convicted this year or are facing
trumped-up charges for various allegations. They include Mutasa Central MP
Trevor Saruwaka, Chimanimani West legislator Lynnette Karenyi, Senator Roy
Bennett, Mutare West MP Shuah Mudiwa and Chipinge South MP Meki Makuyana.
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1. To anyone who cares: Ben Freeth
I write this in the wake of the recent letter I wrote to the Prime
minister regarding "where Truth becomes the casualty." The letter was
about the widespread break down in the rule of law on the farms in
It is time that the truth be told. Minister Welshman Ncube from JOMIC
has now denied that there are any land invasions. If he were to come
here right now he would see Minister Shamuyarira's men busily reaping
thousands of US dollars worth of Mike Campbell P/L sunflowers in broad
day light with complete impunity using Mike Campbell P/L tractors on land
that Mike Campbell P/L has court orders and international judgements
We have video footage of this and the looting of the other crops. Mike
Campbell P/L did the land preparation; Mike Campbell P/L bought the
fertiliser and seed and planted the maize and the sunflowers and
fertilised them and weeded them; and now land invaders continue to reap
thousands of US dollars each day of crops that they never sowed or did
anything for. Day after day, week after week and now month after month
this has continued since the 4 April 2009 when the invasion took place
and they reaped the mango crop and the orange crop. Not a single mango,
orange, maize cob or sunflower head has been able to be reaped by the
owner from that date. The invaders are now interfering with the cattle
and saying that the several hundred head of cattle on the property
belonging to Mike Campbell P/L are now owned by Shamuyarira too!
Workers have been beaten, abducted and hospitalised; houses and
sheds have been broken into; people have been terrorised; water has been
cut off by the invaders for weeks and they have plunged the workers into
darkness by cutting off their electricity as well; tens of thousands of
productive fruit trees have been left without irrigation, fertilisation
or spraying. .
Police know all about it and refuse to arrest anyone or even stop them
despite the 2 High Court orders saying the invaders must be evicted and
the SADC Tribunal judgement saying that Mike Campbell and his family
and workers should be allowed to farm without disturbance.
The Honourable Professor has white-washed such situations by saying it is
only where there are "eviction letters" and the farmer is not complying,
that there are "land disputes." There is not a farmer in the country who
has not vacated immediately on being given an eviction order from a
court. The alternative is jail. I challenge JOMIC to give just one
example anywhere in the country where a farmer has not complied with an
eviction order from a court. The disputes are taking place where people
clutching offer letters are taking the law into their own hands and
carrying out lawless acts with impunity such as what they are doing on
Mount Carmel farm. Does JOMIC really believe that an offer letter gives
the authority for invaders to take the law into their own hands and evict
people and take their belongings?
How can a Government continue to condone theft and thuggery with lies and
with silence in a starving country with no job creation and no investment
taking place? How can the people continue to put up with this sorry
situation? What sort of signal is it sending out to anyone wanting to
grow food crops this coming summer or put any investment into the
country? Why should donors be pouring their tax payers money into
Zimbabwe to feed us when, with the re-establishment of the rule of law,
we would be exporting food as we did when we had the rule of law prior to
the farm invasions?
For the sake of everyone who believes in a future for themselves and
their children, a full investigation needs to take place into why the law
enforcers allow such nefarious activities to continue to go on in
Zimbabwe with such impunity.
by Andrew Moyo Wednesday 15 July 2009
HARARE - Non-governmental organisations (NGO) have asked Zimbabwe's
cash-strapped power-sharing government to return money seized by
controversial central bank governor Gideon Gono and allegedly used to prop
up President Robert Mugabe's old government.
The National Association of NGOs (NANGO) said it had written to Finance
Minister Tendai Biti demanding that he should outline a repayment plan when
he announces a mid-term national budget statement to Parliament on Thursday.
"The government should highlight the government's strategy in trying to
return the money that it owes the local NGOs whose funds were taken by the
Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) in 2008," the NANGO said in a statement shown
to ZimOnline yesterday.
Gono last year seized millions of dollars in hard currency belonging to NGOs
including more than US$7 million that belonged to the Global Fund to Fight
AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria that the RBZ was holding in trust.
The central bank chief allegedly used the funds to shore up Mugabe and his
ZANU PF party, including - according to some accounts - paying for Mugabe's
violent campaign to retain the presidency in a bloody second round
presidential election in June 2008.
The veteran leader had lost the first round ballot in March of the same year
to then opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai but who failed to muster the
number of votes required to avoid a second round run-off poll.
Mugabe won the second ballot as sole candidate after Tsvangirai withdrew
from the race citing state-sponsored violence against his supporters that he
said had killed more than 200 members of his MDC party and displaced
thousands of others.
The two rivals have since formed a unity government to end the political
crisis ignited by last year's disputed election and to try to end Zimbabwe's
long running recession.
The NANGO said returning money grabbed from its members - all of which had
been provided by foreign funders - would help mend relations between the
Harare authorities and civic society as well as foreign donors.
"(Returning) the money is critical for the organisations and also for the
mending of relations between the government and the donors," it said.
Biti was not immediately available for comment on the matter.
But the Finance Minister is on record as saying the unity government is
bankrupt after years of recession, while rich Western nations are reluctant
to provide direct financial support to the government insisting on more
reforms first including at the central bank. - ZimOnline
by Patricia Mpofu Wednesday 15 July 2009
HARARE - Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has been awarded the
prestigious International Lifetime Achievement Award 2009 of the Spanish
Foundation Cristóbal Gabarrón, his office announced on Tuesday.
The award honours people or organisations that "have been outstanding in
reaching achievements that are an example to humanity".
James Maridadi, the Prime Minister's spokesman, said the award, named after
famous Spanish painter - Cristóbal Gabarrón, was announced last Friday and
presentation is on October 9 in Valladolid, Spain.
Maridadi said a panel of judges for the Lifetime Achievement Award category
unanimously settled for Tsvangirai "because he is a statesman for history to
"Because he launched a message to the world from Africa, a message of
reconciliation and of the fight for democracy," the panel said in its
citation, adding: "Tsvangirai is an example of personal and political
generosity, a beacon of hope for all of Africa. The whole world must lend
its support to his striving for excellence and to the dignity of the people
The Zimbabwean Premier beat 17 other nominees from Italy, Mexico, Portugal,
Russia, Spain and the United States (US) who were also vying for the award.
Tsvangirai has risen from working in a mine to becoming the face of
resistance to Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe's repressive rule.
As the leader of his opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party,
Tsvangirai has been brutally assaulted, charged with treason and routinely
labelled a "traitor".
Two years ago, the world was shocked to see pictures of his injuries after
police beat him after arresting him for taking part in a prayer meeting,
which they said, was illegal.
Tsvangirai formed a coalition government with Mugabe after agreeing to share
power last September to end Zimbabwe's long-running political and economic
Since 1992 the Foundation Cristóbal Gabarrón has been involved in artistic
and cultural activities, as well as international cooperation to promote
culture, education, performing and plastic arts research and general
According to the conditions of the competition, the award seeks to honour
the "person or group of people whose trajectory, both in their personal and
professional dedication, in the political, social, cultural or scientific
fields and during a significant period of their life, have been outstanding
in reaching achievements that are an example to humanity".
Global political personalities who have received the award include former
Colombian president Belisario Betancur (2003), French political philosopher
Sami Naïr (2006) and the former Uruguayan leader Julio María Sanguinetti
(2007). - ZimOnline
by Chenai Maramba Wednesday 15 July 2009
MAGUNJE - Temporary teachers in Mashonaland West province's Hurungwe
district have pulled out of schools after working for the past five months
without receiving their allowances from the government, ZimOnline has
The teachers accused education ministry officials at Magunje growth
point - some 245 kilometres north-west of Harare - of "bungling and failing
to submit their (contract) forms to Salary Services Bureau (SSB) on time'',
resulting in the teachers going for almost half a year without receiving the
monthly US$100 allowance government pays all public workers.
The SSB processes payment for all government employees centrally in
the capital Harare.
''I have given up continuing to work on voluntary basis as I can not
get even the allowances given to all civil servants for the past five months
and officials here are refusing to let me have my forms so that I can take
them to Harare,'' said a frustrated untrained teacher from Zvimonja
Secondary School, a further 50km from Magunje, speaking on condition he was
Ministry of Education officials at Magunje admitted that there were
hundreds of contract forms gathering dust at their offices after they were
returned from the SSB because they had some information missing.
''It's unfortunate that hundreds of contract forms of both trained and
untrained teachers are gathering dust here as they need to be completed with
vital information but nothing is being done to have them delivered to
concerned individuals,'' said one source at Magunje.
He added that some forms had been lying at the offices since February
after they were returned from the SSB so that the applicants could fill in
details of their foreign currency accounts following government's
introduction of use of foreign currencies.
Hurungwe district education officer Muchineripi Ndewere refused to
comment on the matter and provincial education officer Sylvester
Mashayamombe only said ''Mashonaland West has enough trained teachers''
before hanging up the phone.
However Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) president
Takavafira Zhou admitted that some teachers including those on full time
employment contracts were yet to get their allowances from government since
the beginning of the year.
''We have at least 10 000 members including trained teachers who are
yet to get their allowances because of bungling by district education
officers around the country. While government is yet to pay salaries we
thought the allowances must be uniform and disbursed quickly to the
concerned teachers," the PTUZ boss said.
He added that most of those affected were those who were re-assigned
when they rejoined the education ministry after absconding due to political
and economic challenges afflicting Zimbabwe over the past decade.
Last week teachers said they would boycott classes every Friday in
protest against government's failure to adjust their salaries and vowed to
intensify the industrial action if government did not address their
The teachers are demanding a salary of US$454 per month, up from the
current US$100 a month.
Education Minister David Coltart was not immediately available for
comment on the matter.
While Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and President Robert Mugabe's
unity government formed in February has managed to reopen schools and
hospitals, its failure to attract aid from rich donor countries has left the
administration struggling for cash to meet day-to-day running costs. -
By Sandra Nyaira
14 July 2009
Zimbabwean Co-Minister of Home Affairs Giles Mutsekwa said Tuesday that he
will conduct a nationwide fact-finding mission to look into reports from the
country's largest teachers union and civic groups that violence has
resurfaced in many rural communities.
Mutsekwa, a legislator of the Movement for Democratic Change formation of
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, shares control of the ministry with Kembo
Mohadi of the ZANU-PF party of President Robert Mugabe in the country's
Teachers and political activists say that militias connected to the ZANU-PF
party of President Robert Mugabe have established bases in schools as they
did during the post-election wave of violence that swept the country in
April-June 2008. Other reports said militia members have harassed perceived
enemies in the context of ongoing constitutional revision.
Mutsekwa told reporter Sandra Nyaira of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that
though he won't be accompanied by Mohadi, militia camps will be dismantled
if he finds them.
But political analyst Farai Maguwu, director of the Center for Research and
Development in Mutare said Mutsekwa and the MDC don't have the power to
abolish militia bases.
By Patience Rusere
14 July 2009
Fuel shortages have become widespread again in Zimbabwe amid official moves
to pull back on issunce of import licenses to new operators, leaving the
National Oil Company of Zimbabwe with a an effective monopoly again in the
sector, sources said.
VOA was unable to reach Energy Minister Elias Mudzuri of the Movement for
Democratic Change formation of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai for comment.
But sources familiar with the energy sector said a decision was taken three
months ago by the government and industry players to concentrate financial
resources to bring fuel in at a more competitive price with NOCZIM as the
conduit for most fuel imports.
But this has led to a shortage as NOCZIM has been unable to reliably come up
with the hard currency cash payments demanded by regional suppliers,
business sources said.
Meanwhile the price of petrol has soared from 55 U.S. cents to US$1.55 on
the back of the worsening shortages, aggravated by a strengthening South
Economist and consultant Luxon Zembe told reporter Patience Rusere of VOA's
Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that this latest round of price increases puts
additional strain on businesses which are struggling to recover from the
country's near-total economic meltdown.
15 July 2009
A TEAM of indigenous players is set to launch Zimbabwe's first low cost
airline within the next few weeks with a maiden flight scheduled for
September this year. The new airline's thrust will be on ensuring that
flying is both affordable and convenient and is geared to cater for the
burgeoning traveling population plying the Harare-Johannesburg and
Aptly named Fly Kumba, the airline has positioned itself for growth in line
with the Government of Zimbabwe 's quest to re-brand itself and re-emerge as
a the bread basket of the region if not the continent. Fly Kumba Chief
Executive Officer, Lloyd Muchaka said the airline's vision and mission was
centered around ensuring that flying is affordable to everyone.
"We intend to become Zimbabwe's preferred low-cost airline, delivering the
lowest air fares with the highest consumer value add offering world class
service to price sensitive consumers.Fly Kumba intends to fulfill everyone's
dream of flying based on a fare of below US$ 80, departure tax included in
this price for a flight from Harare to Johannesburg," said Muchaka.
He said the maiden flight was scheduled for September, 2009. In line with
its vision, Fly Kumba seeks to compliment the tourism service and sees the
ongoing efforts to re-brand the country as another opportunity for the
airline to play their own part in enhancing the image of the country to the
While flying is often viewed as an exclusive privilege for the few elite,
Fly Kumba Chief Financial Officer, Patrick Chapwanya said the airline was
cognisant of the fact that the prevailing economic recession meant tight
budgets for the ordinary person hence the introduction of this low cost
Chapwanya said Fly Kumba intends to pass on benefits of low transportation
costs to its clients as every saving can be applied to cover other costs.
"We know that the objective of each traveler is to get to their destination
and Fly Kumba has identified a workable solution enabling travelers to do
just that without the burden of unnecessary costs that ensures the best
turnaround time, reliability, cost effective and safe," said Chapwanya.
Muchaka is currently working towards a Masters of Business Leadership, SBL
with UNISA and is a holder of Bachelor of Commerce (Informatics and
Financial Management) as well as Diplomas and certificates in Systems
Analysts and Design and Computer Programming. He worked for Siemens South
Africa as a product manger for three years from 2003 to 2006 and has been in
the road and transport industry since then.
Chapwanya qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 2002. He holds an Hons
Bachelor of Accounting Service Degree from Unisa. Chapwanya served as chief
financial officer of an investment firm, Community Investment Holdings (CIH)
until March 2005 and prior to that held various auditing and financial
management positions with another investment group, the Powertech Group in
South Africa. From 2005 to date he has been heading a management consultancy
firm based in South Africa. Chapwanya currently serves as a non executive
director of JASCO Electric Holdings which is listed on the Johannesburg
Muchaka said the airline's primary routes will be Harare - Johannesburg and
flights would be introduced for other routes such as Harare-Bulawayo,
Harare-Vic Falls, Johannesburg Vic Falls and Harare-Kariba. In that regard,
Fly Kumba is geared to provide efficient service by ensuring that flight
schedules are always adhered to as well as providing various flights during
the course of the day to ensure that travelers are not inconvenienced in
terms of travel arrangements.
Fly Kumba has a new generation fleet of Boeing 737, 200 backed by cutting
edge technology and infrastructure to ensure the highest standards in
"We enjoy maintenance support from leading Aviation companies with state of
the art technology. This ensures that there would not be compromise on
safety, reliability or on-time travel."
Fly Kumba has a working relationship with world renowned low-cost support
for reservations and revenue management service providers. It intends to
introduce e-booking and e-ticketing facilities on line as well as
Muchaka said Fly Kumba was also geared to play a part in sport tourism by
maximising on the FIFA 2010 World Cup in South Africa next year.
He said the World Soccer showcase presented the Zimbabwean tourism industry
with countless opportunities and Fly Kumba would be an integral catalyst to
this benefit ensuring that travel in and around Zimbabwe is affordable and
"By 2010, Fly Kumba would be a regional and international airline offering
flights in the SADC region and beyond.It is Fly Kumba's objective to build a
sustainable National and Regional low cost airline," he said. Muchaka said
Fly Kumba is committed to being a good corporate citizen and in that regard
would continue to provide for the betterment of the community in which it
operates. The airline has a comprehensive Corporate Social Investment
strategy premised on giving back to the less privileged members of society
in a sustainable and lasting effect.
15 July 2009
Mwenezi -Zanu PF has hatched a plan to conscript
members of its youth brigade into all state parastatals in the area in
a bid to make the State-owned companies pay salaries for its militia.
Sources in Mwenezi East district said all applications for
employment into the civil service in the area, were being done through
the Zanu PF youth offices at Neshuro business centre.
The sources alleged all parastatals and government departments had
been instructed not to entertain applications from known MDC
sympathisers in a move believed to be a reward for Zanu PF thugs who
initiated terror campaigns last June.
"The National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) recruited 50 youths from
the Zanu PF youth centre recently. The majority of them are confirmed
Zanu PF elements who caused a reign of terror last year.
"As such they are being rewarded for brutalising perceived enemies
especially MDC members. The entire civil service is being filled with
Zanu PF elements. The MDC is being sidelined," said the source who
works for the NRZ.
Mwenezi East constituency is under Zanu PF's MP Kudakwashe Bhasikiti who has
reportedly blessed the move.
"Bhasikiti has blessed the whole thing .He is fully aware of the
developments. In fact it is his survival strategy. He is using the
exercise to position himself for more political mileage although Zanu
PF is no longer popular here," the source said.
July 15, 2009
By Geoffrey Nyarota
DEPUTY Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara was absolutely correct last week.
Nowhere in the Global Political Agreement that he, President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai appended their signatures to last September is it stated categorically that the life-span of the government of national unity shall be 18 months.
Mutambara took many by surprise when he told the International Investment Conference held in Harare last week that the lifespan of Zimbabwe’s current inclusive government, in which he serves as unelected Deputy Prime Minister, is likely to be extended to a full term of five years.
Mutambara caused widespread consternation when he proceeded to describe as absolutely false the widely held belief that the duration of the hybrid government had been intended to last only for two years, the period set aside for the constitution-making process. Once the new process is approved in a referendum by the electorate general elections, hopefully Zimbabwe’s first genuinely free and fair polls, will then be conducted under an independent commission and international observation to usher in a new and popularly elected government.
“All this is completely false,” Mutambara said to the astonishment of potential investors, both local and foreign, ”If you look at the Global Political Agreement, there is nowhere where it says the government is for 18 months or two years. It is silent on the duration of the unity government.”
Ironically, Mutambara was trying to instill confidence among especially the foreign investors by pointing out that a change of government in two years time was likely to lead to abrupt policy changes that would affect their future investments.
Intrigued and somewhat dismayed by the Deputy Prime Minister’s utterances, having laboured under the impression that the controversial government of national unity had no life beyond the end of 2010 at the very latest, I hurriedly dusted my copy of the Global Political Agreement. I was genuinely alarmed by the prospect of President Mugabe remaining in office until the ripe old age of 89 in 2013, as now projected by Mutambara. After all the President lost a presidential election on March 29, 2008, and remains in office today through skillful manipulation of the electoral processes, with the intervention of former South African President Thabo Mbeki acting as catalyst.
I was also troubled by the prospect of Mutambara himself remaining ensconced in office as Deputy Prime Minister. Not only did he withdraw from the presidential election held on the same March 29, he was thoroughly thrashed in a parliamentary election where he tried his luck away from the limelight in some constituency in Chitungwiza. He does not owe his elevated position in the government of national unity to any electoral endorsement. His guardian angel is the now disowned Thabo Mbeki.
Here was the same Mutambara daring to speculate that he could be destined for a five-year term of office because the man he now publicly and ingratiatingly refers to as his “brother”, President Mugabe, has argued in favour of serving his own full term of office from June 30, 2009.
Mutambara attributes his brilliant prognosis to the GPA.
My own perusal of the document reveals that the Deputy Prime Minister is indulging in deliberate obfuscation of the facts. Indeed the document does not state categorically that the government of national unity will have a duration of 18 months or 20 months. But the document is unequivocal in outlining the frame-work of the constitution-making process, leading to the adoption of the new Constitution in a referendum and the holding of free and fair elections thereafter to usher in a new government.
The adoption of the new Constitution and the holding of general elections should effectively signal the end of the life of the troubled government of national unity.
It is more than likely that the landmark election will, sadly, also signal the end of some political careers. But such is the nature of politics. It is for that reason that so-called residual pockets of resistance exist, as some politicians come to terms with the prospect that they can never cross the Rubicon of free and fair elections. That has been particularly true of some Zanu-PF stalwarts since the signing of the GPA in September, 2008.
What has not been equally clear is the fact of Mutambara jumping onto the bandwagon of resistance, as appears to be the case now.
But, so that he does not continue to engage in self-delusion, the Deputy Prime Minister would be well advised to revisit the Global Political Agreement especially Article VI, which dwells on the constitution-making process.
Incidentally it is clearly stated as follows as a preamble to the clauses of Article VI: “Acknowledging the draft Constitution that the Parties signed and agreed to in Kariba on the 30th of September 2007, annexed hereto as Annexure “B”; determined to create conditions for our people to write a constitution for themselves….”
It appears that it is not only the Deputy Prime minister who should constantly revisit the GPA. For his instruction the following is the time frame outlined in the GPA:
It is stated in Clause (i) of Article VI that the Select Committee shall be set up within two months of inception of a new government. Subsequently the first All-Stakeholders Conference is to be convened within three months of the date of the appointment of the Select Committee. That stage was reached this week. Thereafter, a process of public consultation is to be completed no later than four months after the date of the first All Stakeholders Conference.
That is a total of nine months so far.
Within three months of completion of the public consultation process the draft Constitution shall be tabled to a second All Stakeholders Conference. By the end of one month after the second conference the draft Constitution and the accompanying report shall be tabled before Parliament.
For a period of one further month the draft Constitution and the accompanying Report shall be debated in Parliament.
The draft Constitution emerging from Parliament shall then be gazetted before a referendum on the new Constitution is held within a period of three months.
Should the draft Constitution be approved in the referendum it shall be gazetted within one month of the date of the referendum and introduced in Parliament no later than 30 days from the date of its gazetting.
This whole process will take between 18 and 20 months on the outside. Zimbabwe is expected to hold free and fair elections after the completion of the process; this regardless of how well or otherwise the government of national unity is performing. Mutambara’s expectation of self-perpetuation in office is not consistent or commensurate with the general performance of the government in which he is serving. If the Deputy Prime Minister wanted to be rewarded for outstanding performance in the five months the GNU has been in office that would, perhaps, be understandable.
But Mutambara now kindly brings the public into the picture in terms of the circumstances in which he, the President and the Prime Minister signed the Global Political Agreement.
“When we were doing the negotiations, we were coming from the opposition; we wanted a short and sharp government, 18 months, and then elections. That was our demand.
“But our brother Mugabe from Zanu-PF was saying, ‘No I was elected on the 27th of June (2008), I want my five years’. So we argued back and forth.
“The reason why we did this in the end is to ensure that people are not in an election mode. We for once work for the country. If we have 18 months or two years as our horizon, we don’t work, we campaign.”
I believe I speak on behalf of the majority of fellow compatriots when I express the expectation that the principals who signed the GPA last September will in due course be engaged in various election campaigns before presenting themselves once more to the electorate. Voters can then finally vote for a government of their choice in the hope that such government is able to takeover the reins of power.
Mutambara said there would be no need to disband the hybrid government in two years if it delivers on its pledges of restoring democracy and economic progression in Zimbabwe.
“If we behave well as a government, we create conditions for free and fair elections.
“After five years, there will be elections which are free and fair and one winner will be elected and the losers will congratulate the winner and we will have a stable, legitimate government that will guarantee stability forever.”
Power not only corrupts; it intoxicates. There was always the fear that if politicians of the peculiar circumstances of the Deputy Prime Minister ever rode on the well-oiled Zanu-PF gravy train they would instantly become pre-occupied or obsessed with issues of self interest and self-preservation at the expense of the welfare of those who, in his case, rejected them at the polls.